UK Sad Bust: Cannabis farm raid reveals rooms full of sick or dying plants

It’s unlikely any tears were shed when U.K. police looking to shut down thriving illegal cannabis grow instead discovered a whole lot of dead plants.

Although medicinal marijuana is legal throughout the U.K., recreational weed continues to be illegal to have, own, supply, make, import or export.


Executing a Misuse of Drugs Act warrant on a home in Scarborough on the afternoon of May 11, members of the North Yorkshire Police’s (NYP) Operation Expedite team forcibly entered the property.

Once inside, members of the team, whose focus is drug dealing and safeguarding exploited people, could see the home had been converted into a sophisticated grow. Three upstairs rooms housed many marijuana plants that police valued at thousands of dollars, that is, had they been alive.


Photos of the grow, each appearing more pathetic than the last, almost seem to emit a ghostly glow. An NYP statement notes “the plants appeared to be in the process of dying, having not been watered for several days.”


Beyond confiscating the illicit plants, officers seized high-value growing equipment such as lights, filters and transformers.


The grow has since been dismantled. Although no suspects were found on the property, the police probe is continuing.


Police image of one growing room, fully equipped with lighting and fans, discovered in unoccupied home. /
Police image of one growing room, fully equipped with lighting and fans, discovered in unoccupied home. / PHOTO BY NORTH YORKSHIRE POLICE

Indeed, the NYP issued a cheeky tweet letting the former farm’s operators know that the grow had been put out of business.


“Do you own or rent a house on Spring Bank in Scarborough? You may need to visit the local police station to get a new set of keys…” the tweet noted.


It’s tough for a cannabis plant to overcome water loss.


“Underwatering results mainly from neglect,” per Royal Queen Seeds. “Plants usually get too dry when growers go on holiday or a heatwave strikes. In extremely hot conditions, missing a day or two of watering can seriously impact a plant’s vitality.”


Outside heat seems not to have been an issue in Yorkshire, with the highest temperature recorded in the days before the discovery hitting just 19 C.


Even living plants would ultimately have been destroyed, so perhaps part of the job was completed before police even arrived on the scene.

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